Gone are the employer-centric days when hiring leaders could extend interview invitations and feel fairly assured that candidates and applicants would indefinitely show up ready to make that winning impression.
Congratulations, this is a valuable recruiting skill; however, if you don’t know how to write an effective LinkedIn InMail, it renders your amazing ability almost useless.
The InMail, which is LinkedIn’s messaging tool for reaching out to people with whom you aren’t already connected, is in many cases the first and only chance you have to link up with someone who’s both the perfect candidate and a perfect stranger.
If you don’t make the most of this opportunity, you’re back to square one.
What follows are a few tips that you can use to write your own engaging outreach message, as well as a LinkedIn InMail template that you can then customize accordingly:
1. Personalize, personalize, personalize. The number one mistake hiring leaders make is sending the same generic message to every single passive candidate. From a recipient’s perspective, this communicates that they’re not worthy of a tailored message, and accordingly, it means that you and your company aren’t worthy of a response. Take some time to interweave a candidate’s skills, work experience, interests, and achievements into your message, and your InMail response rates will very likely increase.
2. Keep it short. You may have 2000 characters to woo a potential candidate, but it’s better to craft a concise, to-the-point message than a lengthy, tedious note. As you’ll see in the LinkedIn InMail template below, start by introducing yourself, then explain why you’re writing, and close with a strong call to action.
3. Write a strong subject line. This is the key that unlocks the door to your engaging, convincing message. If you can’t hook your recipient to the point that they open your InMail, all of your other efforts will have been wasted. To write a strong subject line, think like an email marketer and try your best to make it personal, snappy, and brief.
LinkedIn InMail Template
Subject Line: [Recipient’s Name], let’s talk [Recipient Interest 1] & [Recipient Skill 1] at [Company Name]
Hi [Recipient’s Name],
I hope you’re having a great week. I’m [Your Name], [Your Job Title] over at [Company Name], and I couldn’t help but notice that your [Recipient Interest 1] and [Recipient Skill 1] would make you a great fit for some of our open [Recipient’s Industry] roles.
It also happens that quite a few of my colleagues are part of [Group Recipient is a Member of] – perhaps you’ve even met some of them.
Anywho, I’d love to steal 15 minutes of your time to learn more about you and to chat about what you’re looking for next in your career.
Let me know if you’re free on [Date] or [Date] at [Time].
Thanks again for your time, and enjoy the rest of your day.
[Your Phone Number]
Want to use this letter?
The above LinkedIn InMail template does a great job of laying the foundations for a personalized, friendly outreach message. It goes without saying, however, that you’d want to customize the note to fit the context of your own situation.
For instance, LinkedIn itself has released data that links a shared common group with a 21 percent increase in response rates, which is why this kind of mention has been included in the template above. If you don’t share a common group with the recipient, consider making mention of an alma mater, past employer, etc. that you share. All of these bits and bobs increase the likelihood that a candidate will respond.
Finally, the InMail message draws to a close with direct, concise call to action. This eliminates any uncertainly around next steps, and it keeps the momentum moving forward. Just be sure your call to action is straightforward and respectful – not demanding.